Nationwide, there have been 560 documented cases of children dying from hyperthermia while either left in or gaining access to a car since 1998.
Florida is one of the 20 states with laws targeting leaving children in a vehicle. Recently, officials in Broward County have begun taking prevention efforts a step further with a publicity and education campaign to prevent childhood deaths from heat stroke.
Unwanted Distinction for Florida Driver’s
Florida ranks number six in the percentage of hyperthermia deaths of children in vehicles. Broward County’s “Look Before You Lock” campaign seeks to remind people to look before they lock the car door. The county is using a combination of billboards and educational materials distributed to social service agencies, schools, parents, and doctor’s offices to spread the word.
Primary Cause of the Deaths is “Forgotten” Children
According to the San Francisco State University’s Department of Geosciences, the circumstances surrounding 52% of vehicle related heatstroke deaths for children was because they had been “forgotten.” This accounts for some 288 children dying because of a memory lapse on the part of a caregiver. For 31% of these deaths, the child was less than one year old.
Understanding Heatstroke & Hyperthermia
Heatstroke occurs when a person’s thermoregulatory system becomes overwhelmed, and temperature exceeds 104°F. A car sitting in full sun can easily reach temperatures in excess of 130°F and see an increase in temperature of 43°F in less than an hour.
Recommendations for safety include the following:
- Do not leave unattended child in a vehicle.
- Called 911 immediately upon seeing an unaccompanied child in a hot vehicle.
- Insure that everyone has left the vehicle when unloading, including sleeping children.
- Lock the car to prevent access by children.
- Use visual cues such as placing a purse or briefcase in the back seat as a reminder when transporting children.
- Make looking before leaving the vehicle routine.
Call Today and Put Our Personal Injury Lawyers’ 100+ Years of Experience to Work for You!
Florida officials are working to reduce vehicle related hyperthermia deaths. Should one of these tragedies occur, it may be difficult to understand what legal steps need to be taken. The Tampa car accident lawyer with the legal expertise to help understand the process is the law offices of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk. Call 1-800-753-5203 for a free initial consultation and case evaluation.